Drive to free Karnaphuli riverbanks begins in Ctg


Chattogram, Feb 04: The district administration has started a drive to demolish the illegal structures on the banks of the Karnaphuli River in the port city.A team led by executive magistrate and assistant commissioner (land) of Patenga Tahmilur Rahman started the drive in Sadarghat area at 10:15 am on Monday and bulldozed a number of buildings till 12 pm.

Tahmilur Rahman said that the total area stretching from Chaktai to Patenga has been divided into three zones to make the eviction drive easier and a total of 2,187 illegal establishments will be bulldozed.

Around 200 structures stretching from Sadarghat to Barik Building area will be removed in the first phase, he said.

Fire Service, Chittagong City Corporation(CCC), Chittagong Development Authority (CDA), Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members and police are taking part in the eviction drive, he said.

The decision to carry out eviction drive was taken at an emergency meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Thursday.

Karnaphuli is one of the most important rivers of Bangladesh. The country’s busiest port is also located on the bank of the river.

On 18 July 2010, the court, after hearing a writ petition by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, ordered to stop the river’s encroachment, land filling, and construction of all types of establishments on the river.

It also ordered the local administration to identify the river’s actual boundary and file a report.

After a survey, the district administration identified more than 2,500 illegal structures on the river banks. On August 16, 2016, the court ordered the authorities concerned to get rid of the structures within 90 days.

The administration failed to implement a High Court order for conducting the drive because of a lack of fund.

On November 25, 2017, the then DC Md Zillur Rahman Chowdhury wrote to Land ministry for a Tk 1.2 lakh fund for conducting the eviction drive.

They are now going ahead after getting assurance from the land ministry.